sthOthra rathnam – 56

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ALavandhAr says “Do I need all the glories of being born in a vaishNava’s residence? You should make me qualified such that when they see me, instead of pushing me aside, they should bestow their special mercy unto me, considering me as ‘He is mine'”.

sakruth thvadhAkAravilOkanASayA
thruNIkruthAnuththamabhukthimukthibhi: |
mahAthmabhir mAmavalOkyathAm naya
kshaNEpi thE yadhvirahO’thidhussaha: ||

Word by word meaning

yadh viraha: – the separation of those great vaishNavas
thE – for you
kshaNE api – even for a moment
athi dhussaha: – very intolerable
sakruth – once
thvath AkAra vilOkana ASayA – to the desire of seeing your divine form
thruNIkrutha anuththama bhukthi mukthibhi: – those who have great pleasures and liberation and consider themselves to be as good as a blade of grass
(thai:) mahAthmabhi: – (by those) great vaishNavas
avalOkyathAm – to be mercifully glanced by them
mAm naya – make me qualified

Simple Translation

Make me qualified to be mercifully glanced by those great vaishNavas, whose separation is very intolerable for you, those who have great pleasures and liberation and yet consider themselves to be as good as a blade of grass in comparison to just seeing your divine form once,

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • sakruth thvadhAkAra vilOkanASayA – While one should be constantly having dharSan as said in yajur vEdham (mAdhyAhnika manthram) “paSyEma SaradhaSSatham” (let us see you for 100 years) and vishNu sUktham “sadhA paSyanthi sUraya:” (nithyasUris are always seeing emperumAn), ALavandhAr is saying “sakruth” (once) to indicate that to sustain oneself, just seeing once is all that is required. Also to indicate that to discard worldly enjoyment and liberation, just seeing emperumAn once is sufficient. nammAzhwAr [who was grieving in separation] said in thiruvAimozhi 8.5.1 “oru nAL kANa vArAy” (Just come and see me once). periya thirumozhi 4.9.1 “nammai orukAl kAtti nadandhAl nAngaL uyyOmE?” (Will we not survive if you present yourself to us once?).
  • thvadhAkAra vilOkana – Not stopping with enjoying emperumAn‘s svarUpam (true nature) and guNams (auspicious qualities), but those who are fully engrossed in the divine form which reveals both his nature and qualities [From this explanation, we can understand the importance given by our Azhwars/AchAryas for archAvathAra emperumAn].
  • vilOkana – Just seeing once is sufficient; we don’t need to go to the extent of embracing him etc as said in SrIvishNu purANam 5.18.2 “… sugAdam parishasvajE” (krishNa pulled akrUra with his divine hands and embraced him with great love).
  • ASayA thruNIkruthAnuththama bhukthi mukthibhi: – Need not even see; just the desire to see itself will make everything else look like a blade of grass. anuththama bhukthi: – the enjoyment of brahmA et al; anuththama mukthi: – paramapurushArtha lakshaNa mOksham (the eternal servitude to bhagavAn in paramapadham). As said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 17.10 “asmadhya hi bhukththair na: paramArthairalancha na: | yathA paSyAma niryAntham rAmam rAjyE prathishtitham” (We don’t want worldly pleasures like eating etc; we don’t want higher pleasures such as mOksham etc. For us, there is nothing better than seeing SrI rAma who is crowned and is coming in a procession”. vishNu dharmam 2.14 “… thvayApi prApthamaiSvaryam …” (Oh indhra! While it is true that you are a dhEva, I only worship the one who bestowed you such wealth). mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam 195.6 “EthE vai nirayAsthAtha sthAnasya paramAthmana:” (Oh child! When you compare this heaven with the divine abode of paramAthmA, this heaven appears like hell).
  • mahAthmabhi: – By those who are praised by ISvara himself as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9.13 “mahAthmanas thu mAm …” (but the great souls who are pure, know me and worship me without placing their mind in anything else) and in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.19sa mahAthmA sa dhurlabha:” (Such large-hearted souls are rare to attain) and praised by AzhwArs as in periya thirumozhi 7.4.4 “pErALan pErOdhum periyOrai” (the great souls who recite the names of the great lord).
  • mAm – Me who is having the taste for the ultimate goal.
  • avalOkyathAm – to be the target of their glance.
  • naya – Your highness who is omnipotent should make this happen.

emperumAn asks “Why are you greatly attached to and praying to be born as a worm in the residence and for the glance of my devotees instead of me?”, ALavandhAr replies “I, who am sApEksha (praying for something), can explain the reason for my attachment towards them. [But before that] Your highness who is complete in all manners naturally, should explain why separation from them is unbearable for you?”.

  • thE … – For you who is svatha:pUrNa (naturally complete) and avAptha samasktha kAma (one who has no unfulfilled desires). Even for a moment, not just intolerable but very intolerable. [pramANams are referred to highlight emperumAn’s attachment towards his devotees] SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66.10 SrI rAma tells hanumAn “chiram jIvathi vaidhEhI yadhi mAsam dharishyathi | na jIvEyam kshaNamapi vinA thAm asithEkshaNAm” (If sIthA can survive my separation for a month, she can survive for ever. Even for a moment I cannot bear the separation of sIthA who has black eyes); SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 97.8 “yadhvinA bharatham thvAm cha SathrugnanchApi mAnadha | bhavEnmama sukham kinchith bhasmasAth kuruthAm SikI” (Oh one who brings glories [lakshmaNa]! If there is any joy for me in the absence of bharatha, yourself and Sathrugna, let that joy be burnt into ashes); SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 16.39 “samsmarAmyasya vAkyAni …” (I am reminded with those pleasing, sweet, heart-felt, nectar-like words of bharatha); SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.18 “… gyAnIthvAthmaiva mE matham” (All [four] of them are generous, but the gyAni is the one who sustains (me) – this is my principle); mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 74.27 “mama prANA hi pANdavA:” (pANdavas are my life); SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 41.4 “… kim kAryam sIthayA mama …” (What is the use of getting back sIthA, if something happens to you (sugrIva)?).

In the next article we will enjoy the next SlOkam.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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